Backstage Pass to my Weekend in Chicago

This Friday is super special for me because tomorrow morning I leave for one of my favorite cities! CHICAGO <3

I'll be headed to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 100 year celebration at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo!

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St. Patrick's Day 5k and I Love Dance Competition March 20, 2016


Good morning, and happy Monday. Hope your week is starting out great!

Today I wanted to share my experience of my first BARC (Bay Area Runner’s Club) St. Patrick’s Day 5k which just so happened to also be the day of the second dance competition of the year for the studio I teach at. The competition happened to be in the same city, how convenient!

So for those of you that don’t know, I’m a bit competitive. When I was invited to run in the event with Matt’s family, my first thought was, “Oh it’s on, I’m gonna beat Matt.” Then, I saw everyone’s times from previous years, took a step back, and had second thoughts like, “Oh, I’m going to have to work for this one.” With paces around 8 – 8 ½ minutes I about gave up hope., pretty sure my last few races had me at a pace of 9 minutes or so. At this point, I had about 3 months or so to train, and that’s exactly what I was going to do, train really hard and work on my times. Well, training started out great with running 7:46 miles (which this year still wouldn’t have been enough to beat Matthew) but ran into a speed bump. A knee injury speed bump. (Pun Intended). I tried for WEEKS to run, even just once a week to see if I could get in more that just a mile or so, nope wasn’t happening. Usually when I hit mile one, or shortly after, I got an intense pain in my left knee and it forced me to stop running. Bummer. And trust me, I didn’t take this well. How was I going to run, let alone beat anyone if I had a bum knee and couldn’t train at all?! Well, let’s just say I wasn’t happy at all, even going into race day.

So, the day of, I woke up and started out my day with a yummy avocado. Coffee didn’t sound too great before running, so we stopped and picked up the next best thing, Hydrive Energy Water (if you haven’t tried these yet, I highly suggest you do).


With the race starting at 11:30 we arrived around 11. Parking in the area was crazy, SO many people. I'm pretty sure we made our own parking spot... The 8k that took place earlier that day had about 1,000 entries, the 5k run had just under 3,300 entries (many who ran the 8k also ran the 5k), and just under 1,200 for the 5k walk... What I'm try to say here is that there were A LOT of people in the area, haha.

We arrived and met up with everyone with just enough time to get ready, take a few pictures, and get ready to run!

So remember that whole competitive thing I was talking about? And being all upset because I was injured and would most likely be walking 2/3 of the race... yeah, well... not only did I finish the race running the whole time, I hit a PR for my 5k time. Imagine that. I finished 12th in my age group with a time of 25:40; only 10 seconds slower than Matt's little brother, Evan, and 1 minute and 43 seconds slower than Matt. So close, and with a bad knee! (Still recovering from that and haven't run since... :/ )

Post Race Pictures!

Matt and I both reppin' the Adidas Rocket Boost!  Yeah, we're that couple that has matching shoes...

Matt and I both reppin' the Adidas Rocket Boost!

Yeah, we're that couple that has matching shoes...

I couldn't stay to hang out or go out for lunch because I had a few dancers to go take care of!

Shout out to Matt's step mom, Robin, for most of the pictures so far!!!

I headed over to the hotel where the competition was taking place in order to get changed and find out how things were going.

I had planned to take more pictures of the day, take pictures of awards, have lots to talk about, but honestly, once things got rolling, the day was so fast paced!

Check out some of the photos I was able to take, stole from others on social media, and found on my phone after my students got a hold of it!

The kids did amazing and I was proud of how hard they worked no matter how long of a day they had or what illnesses they had or were coming down with. We have a group of GREAT kids that's for sure!

This was the competition that finished out my first season as an instructor for competitive numbers. I am so proud of what my students accomplished and I am happy to have taken the opportunity to teach them, I learned so much! I hope in the future I am able to create more pieces to have beautiful dancers perform. Until then, we look forward to our recital in June!!


That's all for today! Enjoy your week and stay happy! :D


I Survived Family Vacation...

Hope you all had a great Labor Day holiday! I spent my weekend traveling with my family and visiting more family in Carmel, Indiana.



I'm not gonna lie, I was a little worried about this trip. I love my family, but normally we spend a few hours together maximum and then we part ways. I wasn't sure how I was going to do, and how well we were going to get along spending all of Friday afternoon through Monday evening together! It went a lot better than I had anticipated, sure I needed my alone time throughout the weekend, but other than escaping for a workout or two and missing out on some pool and shopping time to do homework, I enjoyed some great quality time with my family (minus little brother who just started college, moved and got a new job that he had to work).


We hadn't even made it to our destination when I started remembering all of the reasons why a little piece of me loves the city life. As we were driving in the surrounding area of my aunt and uncle's house, I looked around and a small part of me missed that life. And let's face it, one of the biggest things I was paying attention to was the food. On second thought, it's a good thing I don't live that close to a Panda Express, Chipotle, and Panera; I would be slightly overweight.

While I'm on the subject of food, let me tell you about the Kroger I visited. This was Kroger amusement park style. First of all, a grocery store with valet parking and a shuttle...I've never heard of such a thing, but they had it. Next, when you walk in, you hear live music coming from the cafeteria-like atmosphere of the second floor.

You walk a little farther and you can see the display of mushrooms, but this isn't a normal display. They're growing the mushrooms right there in the store and you get to pick your own!


My favorite part of the whole place was the sushi bar, or should I say, sushi train. The sushi was made right in front of you and placed on a sort of conveyer belt that rotated around the whole bar. You just picked up the one you wanted.


Other features of the store included an area dedicated to cheese, and the ability to sample them. There were convenient green colored signs in every aisle that designated where the natural, organic, and/or gluten-free products could be found.

Such a cool place, I could have spent hours there.

For the most part it was a very relaxing weekend. We shopped for the kids school clothes and just enjoyed some time off.

At one point we ended up in Dick's Sporting Goods to look for shoes for my brother, for me to get a picture for a photo article I had to write in biomechanics, and apparently my brother also found it necessary to test out some new golf clubs.


Over the past couple summers, my 11-year old brother, Brennen, has really gotten into golf, and decided he needed to test out some clubs for a possible future purchase.

Even though this weekend was meant to be a relaxing vacation, those who know me can't expect me to go 4 days without working on something. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, instead of joining in on shopping and swimming, I decided it would be best for me to hang back at the house, write a biomechanics article (the photo article I mentioned above) and start putting together a playlist for dance (which I start teaching tonight, yay!).


Not to say that the rest of my Saturday didn't involve a bit of fun. The whole group of us sat down to play a game of Mexican Train. It was so fun to share laughs with everyone during a game that lasted over an hour.

Sunday night, our last night in Indiana, I decided I wanted something sweet. It was 8:15 or so when I came to this realization and the nearest frozen yogurt places were closing at 9. I was determined to get some dessert so I quickly rounded everyone up and we headed to Orange Leaf. (Again the convenience of having these places so close).

orange leaf

Being that I couldn't decide on one flavor, I got three. Birthday cake, pineapple, and cheesecake with strawberries, blueberries, white chocolate chips and caramel syrup. Mmm! Brennen, on the other hand, just had a difficult time figuring out what kind of candy he wanted on his. He had 1/4 of his bowl filled with frozen yogurt and the rest filled with toppings and candy!

Monday morning we got up, had lunch, and headed out. On our way out I made a request to make a stop at a local nutrition store, check out a new brand of protein and supplements I'm looking into, and of course get some free samples. I tried the R+D Body Revive Rx Recovery Accelerator in Orange Crush after my leg workout last night, it was delicious! I'm looking forward to testing out some other samples including my Chocolate Dream flavored Lean Fusion protein blend. Check out the site here for more products and information.

As we made our way home, my dad and I were the ones to stay awake while my mom and the kids slept in the back most of the way. I sure was glad when we made it to this sign...


Once we got into Michigan we hit some pretty good thunderstorms that seemed to follow us almost all the way home, but we made it and with that an enjoyable, family weekend in the books.


I mentioned that I took time to workout while I was on vacation. My aunt and uncle have a treadmill in their basement and I took full advantage. Check out this workout I did! I don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life. Enjoy.